The eardrum is also called the tympanic membrane. The ossicles are a group of three bones that connect the eardrum to the cochlear, where sound is interpreted by the nervous system. The eardrum may be perforated or torn by injuries, fractures or infections. The tympanic membrane forms the outer wall of the middle ear.
Causes of Eardrum, Ruptured
Perforation of the eardrum occurs when objects are inserted into the external ear canal. Sudden changes in pressure, such as might occur with swimming, diving, scuba diving or an explosion, can lead to disruption of the eardrum. Severe infections of the middle ear can lead to perforation of the eardrum, sometimes with pus draining from the ear. Skull fractures, particularly those that involve the base of the skull, can tear the tympanic membrane. These fractures can also lead to damage of the middle and inner ear structures and nerves
Signs and Symptoms of Eardrum, Ruptured
Rupture or tears of the tympanic membrane produce sudden ear pain. There are varying degrees of hearing loss. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, is not uncommon with injuries of the eardrum. There may be a bloody discharge from the ear. Dizziness or vertigo may occur, especially if water get into the middle ear. If an infection develops, there may be drainage from the ear, fever, redness and pain.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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